Cast the new "Battle of the Network Stars"

ABC is in the process of making a summer series of Battle of the Network Stars. Since it’s a series, it probably won’t be like the original version, where teams of celebrities from ABC, CBS, and NBC series and specials (Fox did not exist yet) competed against each other. However, if they do have an ABC team, a CBS team, an NBC team, a Fox team, and a CW team, who would you want to see on each one?

Three restrictions:
1 - limit each team to 10 persons, who are on a current (2016-17) series on that network, even if that series has finished its run and there is little chance of it returning next season.
2 - no animated characters, although you can include voiceover actors (so Dan Castellaneta is OK, but “Homer Simpson” is not)
3 - no reality show contestants other than celebrities who were on on Dancing With the Stars this season. You can include reality show hosts or judges.

Just nostalgizing about what made the original Must See TV. Bathing suits MUST be a single layer of nylon or other clings when wet fabric. And no soft focus photography.

ABC just released a press release about the show, and there’s a major change in the traditional format; it’s not going to be network against network, but more genre against genre or character type against character type (for example, “TV Parents” against “TV Kids.”)

Looks like the new version is going to be a glorified version of All-Star Anything Goes. If you’re not familiar with that one, it was a syndicated all-celebrity version of ABC’s Almost Anything Goes. (For those of you from Europe, AAG was America’s version of It’s a Knockout / Jeux Sans Frontières, but with really small cities - I think the maximum population allowed was 20,000.)

If TNT shows are allowed, Rebecca Romijn and Lindy Booth need to be involved.

Johnny Galecki needs to be on it just for the exercise.

Good lord, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who remembered Almost Anything Goes.

Would that be the “librarians vs. book-burners” episode?

The thing I really liked about the original (aside from the one piece spandex swimsuits) is that the players actually competed, and cared if they won. And sometimes got hurt. I could be wrong, but I suspect modern actors won’t risk a sprained ankle or other injury these days. Or even risk looking sweaty or in any way less than perfect.

Given that, here are some people I could see on teams. I don’t watch enough shows to fill out the rosters:
CBS: Lucy Liu, Tom Selleck (a callback to the original series), Alex O’Loughlin, Grace Park, Téa Leoni

ABC: Viola Davis, Kiefer Sutherland, Neil Flynn, Eden Sher, Anthony Anderson, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen

NBC: I don’t think I watch a single NBC show! Still, there’s probably some good choices there.

The original series had a lot of surprises, actors who you wouldn’t think were athletic that shined in competition. Like Gabe Kaplan beating Robert Conrad head to head.

I want to see a three-way “Battle of the NCIS Teams”.

All the superheroes could team up for real - Grant Gustin, Melissa Benoist, Stephen Amell, Caity Lotz. Although Stephen Amell would probably cream the competition all by his lonesome, given the way he demolished the American Ninja Warrior course.

For the ladies, and a few fellas I’m sure, Milo Ventimigliafrom This Is Us.

To guarantee my viewership, Kaley Cuoco.

Right. That was the real star.

I was just about to post the same thing. That guy is the real deal. He can also really shoot a bow very well. So if it’s a network battle to the death, I’ll put my money on him.

What’s the odds on there being a Celebrity Death Race! within the next ten years?

Here are the teams, paired up by episode

  • indicates someone who was on the previous version of Battle of the Network Stars
    TV Sitcoms
    Bronson Pinchot (Perfect Strangers)
    Tom Arnold (Roseanne)
    Dave Coulier
    AJ Michalka
    Tracey Gold (Growing Pains)
    **TV Kids **
    Joey Lawrence (Gimme a Break; Blossom)
    Corbin Bleu
    Nolan Gould
    Lisa Whelchel * (The Facts of Life)
    Kim Fields * (The Facts of Life)

**Primetime Soaps **
Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills 90210)
Josh Henderson
Gabrielle Carteris (Beverly Hills 90210)
Donna Mills *
Mischa Barton
**ABC Stars **
Olivia d’Abo (Life Goes On) *
Shari Belafonte (Hotel) *
Michael Fishman (Roseanne)
Jason Hervey (The Wonder Years)
Anson Williams (Happy Days)

**Variety **
Joanna Krupa
Nick Lachey
Vanessa Lachey
Gilles Marini
Jack Osbourne
**TV Sex Symbols **
Keegan Allen
Traci Bingham
Rosa Blasi
Brant Daugherty
Galen Gering

Erik Estrada (CHiPs)
Larry Wilcox (CHiPs)
Kelly Hu (Hawaii Five-O)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Prison Break)
Lorenzo Lamas *
**TV Sitcoms **
Todd Bridges * (Diff’rent Strokes)
Leigh-Allyn Baker (Will & Grace)
Dave Foley (NewsRadio)
Willie Garson
Jenna von Oy (Blossom)

**White House **
Cornelius Smith Jr.
Marlee Matlin
Joshua Malina
LaMonica Garrett
Mary McCormack
**Lawyers **
Elisabeth Rohm
Corbin Bernsen (L.A. Law)
Matt McGorry
Romi Dias
Catherine Bell)

**TV Moms & Dads **
Chad Lowe
Greg Evigan * (My Two Dads)
Ted McGinley *
Lesley Fera
Jackee Harry
**TV Kids **
Jimmie Walker * (Good Times)
Mackenzie Phillips * (One Day at a Time)
Jonathan Lipnicki
Krista Marie Yu
Jeremy Miller (Growing Pains)

Famous TV Families
Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family)
Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch)
Beverley Mitchell
Willie Aames * (Eight is Enough; Charles in Charge)
Charlene Tilton *
**Doctors **
Thomas Calabro
Taye Diggs
Rachelle Lefevre
Deidre Hall *
Benjamin Hollingsworth

**Troublemakers **
Vivica A. Fox
Paul Johansson
John Barrowman
Julie Benz
Catherine Bach
**TV Lifeguards **
David Chokachi
Brande Roderick
Parker Stevenson *
Nicole Eggert
Gena Lee Nolin

**ABC Stars **
Ted Lange * (That’s My Mama; The Love Boat)
Troy Gentile
Jill Whelan * (The Love Boat)
Denise Richards
Joely Fisher
**Variety **
Lance Bass
Joey Fatone
Adrienne Houghton
Cameron Mathison
Kelly Osbourne

**Cops **
Marisol Nichols
Roma Maffia
Adrian Zmed * (T.J. Hooker)
Fred Dryer
Ryan Paevey
**Sci-Fi/Fantasy **
Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk)
Vinnie Jones
Charisma Carpenter
Kevin Sorbo
Jill Wagner

That was the greatest moment of TV history, IMHO. They were the coaches of their respective teams, and Kaplan (ABC) and Telly Savalas (CBS) had (correctly) accused Conrad’s team (NBC) of cheating in a relay race - the anchor runner had taken several steps behind the line to speed the transfer, because the previous runner was really struggling.

The judges assessed NBC a 2 second penalty, which cost them the race. Conrad blew his top, challenged Kaplan to a foot race to decide it, then lost by a mile to Mr. Kotter. All announced by Howard Cosell.

Here’s the whole segment.

Wow, given the list of ‘stars’, they better have some wheelchair races. (:

Yeah. Bunch of has-beens and never-heard-ofs, IMHO.

They could have appeared in the original Battle of the Network Stars.

That is absolutely hilarious. I was around way back then, I was in the show’s target demographic, and I was ignorant of this event until now. WOW!!!

ESPN Classic has shown several of the episodes recently, though I think right now they are not. It’s fun to see them, but I think they edit the heck out of them. I remember seeing entire events - each team’s full football game, all the competitors in the obstacle course, etc, but ESPNC seems to have much less coverage than I remember. Still, quite enjoyable to watch.

They don’t seem to have the early episodes, the ones that led SNL to make a “Battle of the Network T’s and A’s” parody commercial. No Linda Carter, no Adrienne Barbeau, no Farrah. And while they do show the later ones ('85 and '88) they could be skipped. The idea had run its course by then and those weren’t that fun.